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Batteries

— Energy

"Fool's gold" nanocrystals present cheap, abundant alternative to lithium in batteries

As energy production moves towards solar and wind-powered alternatives, battery systems to store intermittently-produced electricity have never been more important. Unfortunately, many of the materials needed to make high-performance batteries for this purpose are rapidly diminishing and becoming increasingly expensive as a result. Now researchers have created a new type of storage battery that is made from a range of cheap and abundant materials and shows promise for high-efficiency performance.

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— Automotive

World's largest second-use battery storage unit prepped for grid connection

As electric cars come towards the end of their life, they create a set of problems that you simply don't get with petrol cars - namely, getting rid of the batteries. Automotive giant Daimler is doing its bit to tackle the problem by partnering with The Mobility House, GETEC and Remondis to create a 13-MWh battery storage unit out of second-life battery systems from electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

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— Electronics

Portobella mushrooms improve battery recipe

The number of electric vehicles and mobile devices is expected to surge over the coming decade, which would place considerable strain on our environment and resources as far as battery technology currently stands. In an effort to find more sustainable alternatives for battery materials, researchers from the University of California, Riverside have created a battery incorporating the skins of portabella mushrooms. The move not only has the potential to reduce the economic and environmental cost of battery production, but may also result in batteries whose capacity increases over time.


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— Digital Cameras

PowerGrip H2O selfie stick charges your GoPro underwater

While we've previously seen a number of GoPro accessories which can keep you shooting when the battery runs out, the PolarPro PowerGrip H2O is the first we've come across capable of live-charging the action camera while underwater. Currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, the PowerGrip H2O is a waterproof selfie stick with an integrated battery, which can charge a camera at depths of up to 30 m (99 ft).

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— Electronics

Aluminum "yolk" nanoparticles deliver high-capacity battery recipe

Researchers at MIT and Tsinghua University in China have found a way to more than triple the capacity of the anodes, or negative electrodes, of lithium-ion batteries while also extending their lifetime and potentially allowing for faster battery charging and discharging. The new electrode, which makes use of aluminum/titanium "yolk-and-shell" nanoparticles, is reportedly simple to manufacture and is especially promising for high-power applications.

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— Energy

Printable solid-state PRISS battery to change the shape of battery technology

Researchers have created printable solid-state batteries that can be printed in any conceivable shape and can be seamlessly embedded into a variety of surfaces. To demonstrate the technology, the scientists printed a working heart-shaped battery onto a cup, another onto a paper eyeglass and even one in the form of the letters "PRISS", all of which were capable of powering LEDs.

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— Energy

New energy cell can store up solar energy for release at night

A photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) is a special type of solar cell that gathers the Sun's energy and transforms it into either electricity or chemical energy used to split water and produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells. In an advance that could help this clean energy source play a stronger role within the smart grid, researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington have found a way to store the electricity generated by a PEC cell for extended periods of time and allow electricity to be delivered around the clock.

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— Energy

Additives keep lithium-ion batteries from catching fire

Processor chips may get all the glory, but if it wasn't for lithium-ion batteries, modern electronics would look like something out of the 1950s. Unfortunately, while they may be compact and long lasting, these batteries also suffer from overheating and can become fire hazards as they get old. Now a team led by Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has come up with an additive that holds the promise of extending lithium battery life while improving safety and performance. Read More

Battery juices itself up using light

It's now fairly common to hear about batteries being used to store power generated by solar cells. A group of Indian scientists, however, have eliminated the middleman. They've created a battery that incorporates a titanium nitride-based photoanode in place of a conventional anode, allowing the battery to charge itself using solar or artificial light.

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